Across developing and advanced economies alike, low-income households need effective and affordable tools to save and borrow money, make and receive payments, and manage risk. In recent years, access to financial services has increased thanks to the expansion of digital finance and efforts of service providers and governments to reach the unbanked. As access grows, however, we must ensure that financial tools and services effectively help the poor manage and grow their money.

IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program works to improve the financial health of economically vulnerable individuals, households, and firms through research. To accomplish this, the Program produces rigorous evidence on what works to not only improve the quality and impacts of formal financial products but also to foster effective policy and enabling environments that enhance innovation, meet the needs of the poor, and protect consumers against risk. With over 300 completed and ongoing randomized evaluations in 44 countries, the Financial Inclusion Program shares results to inform the work of financial service providers, policymakers, and investors.

Topics of Work
  • Consumer Protection Research Initiative

    Using data to monitor markets and test scalable solutions to financial consumer protection issues

  • Digital Payments

    Improving the design, delivery, and impact of digital payment solutions

  • Interoperable Payment Systems

    Measuring the impact of pro-poor interoperable payments systems

  • Transaction Cost Index

    A multi-country index measuring mobile money and bank account transaction costs in emerging markets

  • Savings

    Improving savings outcomes through better product design and lessons from behavioral economics

  • Credit

    Enhancing the impacts of microcredit on individual, household, and business outcomes

  • Women's Economic Empowerment

    Improving economic outcomes for women through increased financial inclusion and financial decision-making power